During the global pandemic, production on TV shows and movies has been shut down in most countries for safety reasons, but now a series of guidelines has been drawn up to restart that industry safely in Britain.
A report from The Guardian now suggests that ‘high-end’ productions (including any TV show that costs more than £1 million per episode) could start production again as soon as July, with safety measures around Covid-19 signed off by the government and health bodies. When all of these productions will actually restart again is still a mystery, though, but the report indicates that Warner is keen to get restarted on The Batman and the next Fantastic Beasts sequel as soon as it’s possible to do so safely.
A lot of TV and film is made in the UK, and the industry is enormously valuable to the country, both financially and culturally. According to an interview with THR, a government-endorsed guide called Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production made by the British Film Commission and BFI covers everything from symptom tests to catering.
They’re not laws so much as recommendations, but the timeframe given by the BFC’s Adam Wootton suggests filming could start up again in stages. The idea is this series of guidelines is meant to help studios get the ball rolling again on planning their productions.
Will release dates change?
A few movies already shifted release dates to account for the production delays, with The Batman shifting from June 2021 to October, in order to account for the production freeze. With Netflix shows that don’t have release dates, like The Witcher season 2, you’re likely looking at those shows arriving a bit later than originally planned, barring some behind-the-scenes work to bring them forwards.
Productions in other countries that have dealt more swiftly and successfully with coronavirus are soon to get underway, too, like the Avatar sequels. Producer Jon Landau and director James Cameron have re-entered New Zealand and are self-isolating, ahead of filming beginning again.